Progress of a new $1.2 million EMS station and a “10-year plan” for EMS access was the topic of a West Jackson town hall meeting held at the Hoschton Train Depot on Jan. 22.
District Three Commissioner Bruce Yates introduced the topics and county manager Kevin Poe and public safety director Steve Nichols spoke.
Poe gave an update on construction of the building, located along Lewis Braselton Boulevard near Interstate 85, which has an estimated completion date of April 1.
He said construction is about 45 percent through.
“The roof is on and they are now working on the walls and masonry,” he said.
By the middle of next month, Poe estimated, workers will go in and start the interior finishes. Furniture is already ordered, he said.
“It’s progressing on,” said Poe.
Yates then turned the meeting toward the county’s 10-year plan for EMS stations using visual maps depicting where the county planned to construct EMS stations. “We have a plan that was developed back in 2007-2008,” he said. “One of our major thrusts as commissioners is to make sure that all citizens have equal access to facilities and programs and that type thing.”
Nichols was asked to answer questions from the attendees about the county’s 10-year plan with respect to EMS design and selection method. But before Nichols spoke, citizen Ron Johnson, also vice chairman for the congressional district of the Republican Party, said the county did not follow its “master plan” with respect to county EMS facilities.
“Had the master plan been followed, Med 7 would have been built in 2010 and we wouldn’t have a problem at all right now,” said Johnson. “The master plan was not followed. It did not get built and our county chairman who wants to move it— I’ve got a list of subdivision right now, that if he moves it, up the road, one subdivision is going to go from a 3.5 minute response time to a 6.3 minute response time.”
Nichols said if the Med Unit Master Plan was built out by 2017, there would be nine med units in place.
“Everybody knows what the economy did—it went in the tank, so did the plan to build med stations, …” he said. “… We all know the population shifted from 2004 until now, so now the need is on the west side…”
The EMS stations “are strategically placed because of response times,” said Nichols, addressing a 27-minute response time he called “unacceptable.”
As far as money is concerned, Nichols said the county does have enough equipment and spare trucks to set up a station within its current resources.
“We’re there, it’s just a matter of … … not overloading the taxpayers,” said Nichols.
In additon to about 30 citizens, meeting attendees included Jackson County Sheriff Janis Mangum and West Jackson fire chief Ben Stevens. The meeting lasted a little over an hour.
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
The author does not allow comments to this entry